Category Archives: Notes from Toy’s Stories

Happy Children’s Day!

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“Self-esteem is the real magic wand that can form a child’s future.
A child’s self-esteem affects every area of her existence, from friends she chooses,
to how well she does academically in school, to what kind of job she gets,
to even the person she chooses to marry.”
– Stephanie Martson

【「自尊心」有如一支神奇的魔杖,塑造一個孩童的未來;
一個小孩擁有多少的自尊即影響他/她一生的點點滴滴,
從擇友到交友、從學業成績的好壞到出了社會工作的決擇、
甚至到他/她擇偶並完成所謂的人生大事。】
(切記!)

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Happy Year of the Dragon

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“Another fresh new year is here…
Another year to live!
To banish worry, doubt, and fear,
To love and laugh and give!

This bright new year is given me
To live each day with zest…
To daily grow and try to be
My highest and my best!

I have the opportunity
Once more to right some wrongs,
To pray for peace, to plant a tree,
And sing more joyful songs!”

– William Arthur Ward

Our Meeting with Mable Lau

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Our “Toy’s Stories” team met up with Ms Mable Lau, a lady with a BIG heart and lots of love for children from very poor families, on Monday, 9 January 2012. Mable is delivering continuous passion and love over 20+ years in teaching, coaching, supporting and growing the children at Sham Shui Po, Hong Kong. Our Team is working closely with Mable on a big event to commemorate the upcoming Children’s Day in Hong Kong. We are looking forward to seeing the sweet and smiling faces of children!

How Are You Feeling Today?

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How are you feeling today? How are your children feeling today? How often have we asked them how they feel to better understand who they are?

How our children feel affects how they learn, play, make friends and show love. How our children constantly feel affects how their temperaments are shaped as they learn and grow.  Temperament doesn’t predict exactly how our children will turn out, but it can predict the ways they will most likely react, feel, behave and learn as they experience different types of events in their lives.

Research done by Alexander Thomas, Stella Chess, Herbert G. Birch, Margaret Hertzig and Sam Korn indicates that many babies can be categorised into one of three groups: Easy, Difficult, or Slow-to-Warm-Up. Easy babies readily adapt to new experiences, generally display positive moods and emotions and also have normal eating and sleeping patterns. Difficult babies tend to be very emotional, irritable and fussy, and cry a lot. They also tend to have irregular eating and sleeping patterns. Slow-to-Warm-Up babies have a low activity level, and tend to withdraw from new situations and people. They are slow to adapt to new experiences, but accept them after repeated exposure.

Research done by Thomas and Chess based on a classification scheme developed by Birch further shows nine temperament traits in children: Activity, Regularity, Initial Reaction, Adaptability, Intensity, Mood, Distractibility, Persistence & Attention Span, and Sensitivity.

  • Activity refers to the child’s physical energy. Is the child constantly moving, or does the child have a relaxing approach?
  • Regularity refers to the level of predictability in a child’s biological functions, such as waking, becoming tired, hunger, and bowel movements. Does the child have a routine in eating and sleeping habits, or are these events more random?
  • Initial Reaction refers to how the child responds (whether positively or negatively) to new people or environments. Does the child approach people or things in the environment without hesitation, or does the child shy away?
  • Adaptability refers to how long it takes the child to adjust to change over time (as opposed to an initial reaction). Does the child adjust to the changes in their environment easily, or is the child resistant?
  • Intensity refers to the energy level of a positive or negative response. Does the child react intensely to a situation, or does the child respond in a calm and quiet manner?
  • Mood refers to the child’s general tendency towards a happy or unhappy demeanour. Does the child frequently smiles (sign of cheerfulness), or frequently cries or fusses (sign of stormy-ness)?
  • Distractibility refers to the child’s tendency to be sidetracked by other things going on around them. Does the child get easily distracted by what is happening in the environment, or can the child concentrate despite the interruptions?
  • Persistence & Attention Span refer to the child’s length of time on a task and ability to stay with the task through frustrations. Does the child stay with an activity for a long period of time or lose interest quickly?
  • Sensitivity refers to how easily a child is disturbed by changes in the environment. Is the child bothered by external stimuli like noises, textures, or lights, or does the child seem to ignore them?

Learning about our children’s temperaments will help us help them adapt better to particular social situations throughout their lives. How well our children learn to adjust their temperaments to relate to changes in the world around them can affect how much they learn, how well they behave, and ultimately, how happy a life they can have. Can we get to know our children better starting with the question “How are you feeling today?”

Teach Art. Spread Love.

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“Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.” – Pablo Picasso

Through art, we can learn to deal with stress, trauma and unhappiness in an unbelievable way. Through art and colours, we can also learn more about ourselves, appreciate and focus on what makes us happy and what we feel to be good.  Colour, through whatever art forms, brings back memories, evokes feelings and stimulates our mind, body and spirit. Colour gives us the freedom and power to express ourselves for others to hear and understand us better.

Teach our children art. Teach our children colours. Teach them to draw or paint their emotions. Teach them to make an art journal to express their emotions more visually. Let our children paint a mountain and a valley – mountain for the time when they are happy, valley for the time when they are sad. Let them add elements to the mountain and the valley to show specific events that mean to them.

Teach our children to draw or write a message and attach it to a balloon. Let them send away unhappy feelings or spread happy ones by setting the balloon free. Teach our children to paint to music. Scribble. Finger paint. Draw in the dark. Draw in the sand. Build a “home”. Let our children collage or paint a box that represents them. Let them place items inside the box that they value most. Teach our children to make something for someone to show gratitude or appreciation: paint a rock, make a zentangle, draw inside a heart (shape).

Teach art. Spread love, hopes and dreams.